Civil engineering 'The modern civil engineer has done more to improve the health and life span of man than all the advances in medical science' Harry Seftel, Professor of Medicine, Hillbrow Hospital. The key contributing components in the above statement are potable water, water-borne sewerage and safe, weather-protected housing. These are some of the key elements promised to the nation as part of the RDP. As such, the emphasis in the civil engineering industry has shifted from the planning, design and construction of major landmarks and bulk infrastructure to monuments to human need - economic housing and infrastructure in the rural and peri-urban areas.
There are certain important characteristics that distinguish a career in engineering from any other career. Engineering has the following features: It is the only truly wealth-creating profession. It is one of the most creative of all professions. It is one of the few professions that have a direct impact on our daily existence. In the 'engineering team' there is recognition of the vital role that engineers, technicians, technologists and certificated engineers have to play in providing the community with services.
Dawie Botha considers the role to be played by decision-makers in ensuring they get value for their money when commissioning infrastructure projects. When you invest in infrastructure, for example roads, water supply, sewage disposal and electricity supply, you spend huge amounts of money. But do you get value for this investment? And do you know how to ensure that your investment is worthwhile and protected and cared for?
A programme is being introduced to inform local authority councilors about what engineering involves. It is envisaged that sessions will be conducted countrywide to create a simple, clear and easily understandable picture of what engineering infrastructure is, its role in modern society and the process of its implementation and preservation. Major role-players at local government level are the target group, as it is at this level that substantial decision-making and delivery take place.